Once a major port town for Vietnam this historic city has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site and now has more than 800 historical buildings and homes preserved. If you’ve just come off the party circuit from Nha Trang this is a great place to unwind and take in the charming sites for a few days while you enjoy the pedestrian only shopping streets of the old city.
You’ll want to stay within walking distance to the old town if possible. Bicycles are available for rent pretty much everywhere for only $1 a day which is perfect for checking out the motorcycle free streets. One ticket for 90,000 dong ($4.50 CAD) allows you access to all of the preserved buildings and homes in the old city.
One of the major draws here in Hoi An is custom made clothing. Nearly every single store that lines the streets is a tailor shop with over 500 shops in total. Shoes are also high on demand with dozens and dozens of places offering custom leather shoes to go with your newly made suits. (Tips on how to navigate the overwhelming tailor scene coming in the next post). Be sure you’ve got at least three full days in town before even venturing down this path as you want to allow for one or two fittings of your newly made clothes to be sure you’ve gotten exactly what you’ve paid for.
Night time is even more spectacular in town as the streets and buildings light up with charming lanterns and light displays. There are numerous restaurants and cafes that allow you to perch yourself street side and people watch all evening long.
If you’re feet need a break from walking the streets, Hoi An has a great city beach just 4km outside the old town. It’s an easy bicycle ride to get there along the flat paved road and a great place to wait out the hot midday sun. To save a few dong, negotiate eating lunch at a place that offer beach chairs so you can sit on the beach for free.
Jen’s Overall Rating: A spectacular old town with ancient charm which makes for a perfect stop over on your way north or south in Vietnam.